Sale of stunning 518ac farm priced at almost €2m bellwether as 'exceptional' amounts of land hits the market in Scotland

The mixed arable and stock farm with exceptional views across Dunnet Bay to Orkney. Images: Strutt & Parker.
The mixed arable and stock farm with exceptional views across Dunnet Bay to Orkney. Images: Strutt & Parker.

FarmIreland Team

An exceptional amount of farmland in the north of Scotland was sold in the last two years and the Highland market reflects that of the wider Scottish region which saw more land come to the market in 2018 than in the last decade.

Euan MacCrimmon, Senior Associate Director in Strutt & Parker’s Inverness office, said “the volume released to the market is predominantly due to an ageing farming population and a lack of willing successors in the next generation, combined with political uncertainty.”

“An exceptional amount of land has come to the market in the north of Scotland in the past two years.

"During this time, our firm has either placed under offer or sold 14 farms, comprising more than 5,000 acres, in the Highland region.

"Ten of those farms were over 100 acres", he said.

He added that appetite remained in the market,which had proved particularly buoyant. He said: “Most of those farms have found buyers and many of them went to closing dates. This illustrates significant demand for farmland, some of which remains unsatisfied despite the increase in supply. This follows years in which the market was characterised by a lack of stock.”

Mr MacCrimmon said Olrig Mains, an outstanding 518-acre mixed farm in Caithness, was one of the principal successes in the north this year.

The mixed arable and stock farm with exceptional views across Dunnet Bay to Orkney, priced at offers over £1.75m (€1.9m), attracted stiff competition.

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“This was particularly indicative of the strength of demand for prime farm land in Caithness, which remains highly sought after,” he said.

 “It is a very strong farming region with many excellent farms and there are still people looking for something sizeable in the area.”

The property included a comfortable and modern farmhouse, 3 cottages, extensive farm buildings including livestock sheds, a grain dryer and a grain store; and amenity in the form of duck flighting ponds, roe deer stalking, rough shooting and a fabulous outlook over Dunnet Bay.

The land sits between 25 and 141 metres above sea level, its topography undulating with gentle and strong slopes.

The soil comprises of predominantly mineral gleys and brown soils, deriving from old red sandstone. A small proportion of the hill consist of peaty gleys.

Most of the land is capable of producing normal yields of barley and oats, and is suited for growing grass for silage and grazings.

Overall, the size and shape of the fields are appropriate for modern farming cultivation, and each is accessed either from the public road or via private vehicular farm tracks. The average rainfall is approximately 35 inches.

The arable crops grown include Spring Barley and Spring Oats, with reported average yields of approximately 2 tonnes per acre.

The farm carries a suckler herd of 100 Continental Cross cattle, run with five Charolais and Saler bulls.

In addition, Olrig Mains is home to a small herd of purebred Charolais.

Olrig Mains Farmhouse Olrig Mains farmhouse is a spacious, modern, detached home enjoying an elevated and private setting.

Mr MacCrimmon said: “The Scottish farmland market, in general, has remained buoyant with demand strongest for prime arable farms and those with diversified income streams.”

Online Editors